Should there be an inquiry into the London bombings?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Jul 11, 2005.

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  1. Yes - we need to know how these can be prevented in future

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  2. No - the bombers could not have been stopped

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  1. Are the Tories being "unhelpful" in calling for an inquiry?

    Or are the government likely to brush any failings under the carpet with a lot of spin about "maintaining a united front" and "the British spirit"?
     
  2. I doubt that an inquiry would be able to do anything that won't be done by the Met, Security services, NHS and Fire Brigade (whatever they're calling themselves now). All it would do is allow the politicians and civil servants to posture about and waste alot of money.
     
  3. My concern is that the reallocation of resources to monitoring G8 soap-dodgers may have hamstrung the "normal service" dedicated to preventing such atrocities. It also seems baffling that the terror threat was reduced at a time when the insurgency is gathering momentum in Iraq and the situation in Afghanistan is looking unstable. I suspect that there may have been political direction in lowering the threat state - very little happens nowadays without political direction - and that a desire to avoid embarassment will undermine any attempt to prevent such an atrocity occuring again.

    Yes, the bombers *may* have been able to strike regardless of "all the surveillance in the world" but were we being provided with a normal service during the G8 period?
     
  4. Why no passive scanning explosives dogs at tube stations?

    Reduce/remove requirement for police to have 'reasonable' grounds to search, make random searches allowed.

    change emphasis from human rights to public safety, immediate treason charges for british born citizens/passport holders found to support terrorism.

    any takers?
     
  5. Death is still the max penalty for treason!!

    Dave
     
  6. ^ not as per 5 years ago when it was permanently removed from statute.

    These w'anchors dont fear death

    Gaol amongst 'Big Ron' and his mates, where they want Abdul to change his name to 'Shirley' and give Big Ron a 'special' kiss, that's the way forward.
     
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    I'm not sure an inquiry now will help, especially in the light of recent experiences, where the government specially selects His Honour Lord Whitewash to take charge . Questions regarding the diversion of resources for G8 are legitimate (not least because there were alternatives), but these could presumably be pursued in Parliament. Unfortunately, I can't imagine the government being open and honest even with a subject of this magnitude.
     
  8. no! it isn't.............

    UK abolishes death penalty completely and signs up to a permanent ban

    With the passage of the Human Rights Act in November 1998, the United Kingdom joined the ranks of "fully abolitionist" countries . The UK Government had introduced a late amendment to the Human Rights Bill in October 1998 that removed the death penalty as a possible punishment for military offences under the Armed Forces Acts.

    The death penalty had been available for five military wartime offences: Serious Misconduct in Action; Communicating with the Enemy; Aiding the Enemy or Furnishing Supplies; Obstructing Operations or Giving False Air Signals; Mutiny, Incitement to Mutiny or Failure to Suppress a Mutiny. The last execution under military law was in 1942. In July 1998, Armed Forces Minister Dr John Reid MP had announced that the Government would repeal the death penalty for military offences - and that this had the support of the military top brass.

    The UK Government made an international commitment to the permanent abolition of the death penalty on 20 May 1999, when it ratified Protocol 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Protocol 6 is an international human rights treaty which commits a government to the permanent abolition of the death penalty. It has been ratified by all other European Union member states.

    On 10th December 1999, International Human Rights Day, the UK Government ratified the other international treaty which bans the death penalty, the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and completed the journey to total abolition.

    This historic transformation marks the end of a long campaign to get Britain to say "never" to the rope. It is also a landmark victory for campaigning by Amnesty International and by other organisations opposed to the death penalty. It follows the abolition of the death penalty for treason and piracy in the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act and is part of a global trend which has made massive strides in recent years.

    As recently as 1965 - when Britain abolished the death penalty for murder - there were just 12 countries in the world that had fully abolished the death penalty.

    Today, 69 countries have abolished for all crimes, 13 have abolished for all but exceptional crimes (such as treason and wartime offences) and a further 23 countries are abolitionist de facto - in that they have not executed anyone for at least ten years. In the last ten years alone 34 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, while a further 3 countries have got rid of the death penalty for ordinary crimes. In the last year, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan abolished the death penalty. Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan suspended executions.

    A brief history of abolition

    It is almost two hundred years since Samuel Romilly introduced reforms in 1808 to abolish the death penalty for some of the 200-plus capital offences under England's "Bloody Code".

    Capital offences in this "Bloody Code" included:

    being in the company of gypsies for one month;
    vagrancy for soldiers and sailors;
    "strong evidence of malice" in children aged 7-14 years of age.
    Between 1832-34 Parliament abolished the death penalty for shoplifting goods worth five shillings or less, returning from transportation, letter-stealing and sacrilege.

    Gibbeting - where executed corpses were displayed publicly in cages - was abolished in 1843. In 1861, Sir Robert Peel reduced the number of capital crimes to four: murder, treason, arson in royal dockyards and piracy with violence. Public executions stopped in 1868 and the hanging, beheading and quartering of traitors ended in 1870.

    Less than one century later, Parliament voted to suspend for five years the death penalty for murder when it passed Sidney Silverman's Private Member's Bill in 1965.

    This was the fourth time that the House of Commons had voted for abolition but the first time it had actually become law. A Commons vote in 1938 called for legislation to abolish hanging in peacetime for a five-year experiment - but the onset of World War Two meant no more happened. Two later attempts were blocked by the House of Lords and then sidestepped by Labour and Conservative governments. The Labour government created a Royal Commission on the death penalty in 1948. The Conservative government came up with compromise legislation in 1957.

    This compromise legislation - the Homicide Act 1957 - followed growing public disquiet over the hangings of Timothy Evans in 1950, Derek Bentley in 1953 and Ruth Ellis - the last woman executed - in 1955.

    The Homicide Act 1957 made a distinction between capital and non-capital murder. In practice, it created a series of disastrous anomalies - for example, murder in the course of theft was punishable by death, while murder in the course of rape was not - placing a higher value on property than on human well-being. This fuelled further public disquiet against the death penalty. Capital murder convictions were rare. There were just two executions per year in 1962, 1963 and 1964.

    The last executions in Britain were of two men on 13 August 1964. Peter Anthony Allen, aged 21, was hanged in Walton gaol, Liverpool and Gwynne Owen Evans, aged 24, was hanged in Strangeways, Manchester. They were convicted of the murder of John Alan West, a milkman, while robbing him in his house on 7 April 1964.

    Parliament then voted to abolish the death penalty for murder for a five-year experiment in 1965. Just before the Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 received its Royal Assent, the Home Office allowed the reburial of Timothy Evans outside Pentonville prison. It was the start of a process which led to Evans being granted a posthumous free pardon in October 1966.

    Another vote in 1969 finally made the abolition of the death penalty for murder "permanent" in Great Britain. A further vote in 1973 abolished it permanently in Northern Ireland.

    There have been at least 13 attempts to bring back hanging for various categories of murder since 1969. All have failed, and the trend has been towards ever greater majorities in Parliament for abolition.

    In February 1994, a majority of 197 votes defeated a proposal to reintroduce the death penalty for the murder of a police officer on duty.

    With the passage of Crime and Disorder Act and the Human Rights Act such debates will be as much a part of history as the "Bloody Code" itself.
     
  9. ^ and she did that all in one breath! ;)
     
  10. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    While slightly off-thread...

    Well, personally, I think it a shame we did away with these. The re-introduction of the death penalty for these offences would, at a stroke:

    - get rid of all Pikeys
    - replace ASBOs (hang the little devils instead)
    - stop the Aussies winning anything at the 2012 Olympics, and
    - sacrilege - well, pretty much stops anyone not being a Christian

    Sound policies for a Better Britain, every one!
     
  11. Shame really, bringing back hanging would be a solution to our over crowded prisons? At least we would know they wouldn't reoffend!
     
  12. Sadly any inquiry under this Government is only going to find and say what the Government want.
     
  13. This is a toughie isn’t it!

    What purpose would an inquiry serve and what would it investigate? Firstly I think there are too many factors to be covered by the poll. ‘Yes - we need to know how these can be prevented in future’
    ‘No - the bombers could not have been stopped’ such a closed options!

    IF it turns out the bombers where members of a terrorist organisation operating on British soil with the knowledge of the security services and they somehow failed to gleam the full extent of their capability or the intentions or they where unaware or missed signals or whatever I think I, as an individual would like there to be an enquiry with recommendations implemented that would allow a better protection BEFORE the event.

    IF it turns out this is a factional group that no intelligence was available on then I’d like to understand why, and how they gained the capability to carry out what is now being reported as a precision style operation orchestrated over such a large area of London while being invisible. Where did their capability come from and what preventative measures are in place or will be in place to combat this.

    IF, however the bombers are in time detained, charged and go to trial I’m sure we shall see a medium of justice done. I would still be more comfortable to know there was at least an opinion formed by people more qualified than me to go over the evidence of this situation and, with understanding the big picture, report back on what they have seen and how it has to be enacted upon to allow a better system to protect me and mine.

    Beebs
     
  14. It is a bit pointless starting a Government inquiry whilst the investigation into the attacks is barely started.
    It is certain that the Police & Security Services will be looking very hard at why they missed the terrorists who did this.

    Let's save the finger pointing for another day, rather than waste resources that could be used to prevent a recurrence.
     
  15. For the moment.

    Beebs